Project Details

Company :


Duration :


Role :

Product Designer

Tools :

Figma, FigJam, User Research, Problem Discovery, Strategy, Prototyping

Project Summary

When on the homepage, browsing and searching for Groupon deals, customers can see from the merchandising assets, notification inbox and top banner/multi-banner any deals or promo codes that they can currently use. While customers know of the available promo codes, they cannot easily identify which deals the promo code will apply to. Customers also have to do the math themselves to figure out the final price they will pay once the promo code has been added.


Which deals have promos?
When on the homepage, browsing and searching for Groupon deals, customers can see from the merchandising assets, notification inbox and top banner/multi-banner any deals or promo codes that they can currently use. While customers know of the available promo codes, they cannot easily identify which deals the promo code will apply to.
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I have to do the math?!
On top of the lack of promo visibility early on in the customer's journey. Once a customer selects a deal that contains a promo, customers have to do the math themselves to figure out the final price they will pay once the promo code has been added. The only way a customer can verify the amount of savings on a deal is at the checkout, and if the price savings does not align with amount the customer intends to save, it leads to cart abandoment if the price doesn't align with users calculation or expectations.
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Which price is real?
Promos are not the only way a user can save on a deal. Some deals marked with a 'red price' are item level sales (ILS), which are a subsystem that supports. dynamic per deal pricing based on inventory and other factors. So in theory, although it's a rare occurrence, both ILS and promo pricing can happen in parallel for the same deal! How do we solve for a deal that have two running promotions without confusion?
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Problem Icon

In order to improve the existing experience across platforms, the team analyzed existing user research insights on promotions, conducted competitive analysis and in-depth audit on the current experience. After evaluating the strategy and the scope of the project, the team decided to focus on the following features for the first release:

Create a visual identify for promotions to help users recognize discounted from ILS deals.
Show which deals have promotions running early on in the customer journey
Instantly calculate final prices once promo code is applied to reduce the mental math for the customer and help increase trust

The Process

The promotions project was intended to be an end to end enhancement but due to limited resources and time the team and I had to figure out what we needed to prioritize.

I broke down my workload using a version of Jesse James Garrett’s Elements of User Experience. My process for working included six steps titled Strategy, Scope, Structure, Skeleton, Surface, and Support.

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The first phase of the work was to define the future state of the promotion feature. The team ran multiple sessions both internally and with users to narrow down what the key drivers were for the redesign, what were some elements that we specifically thought needed to change from the current experience, what would happen if we didn’t redesign.

Image displays post it notes with answers for a brainstorming session

Understanding Current Problem Space

Before jumping into any design, I wanted to understand the current customer journey to familiarize myself with the problem. I conducted a customer journey empathy exercise to understand all the pain points a Groupon customer comes across when looking for deals with promotions.

Plan ImageImage shows a Groupon customer journey on mobile device of current promotion experience

User Personas

To guide me through the redesign of the promotion feature, I referenced the four Groupon persons:

An illustration of a Groupon user persona: The Inspiration WandererAn illustration of a Groupon user persona: The Determined HunterAn illustration of a Groupon user persona: The In the moment shopperAn illustration of a Groupon user persona: The researcher/planner

Research Insights

Our internal research team conducted an in-depth, qualitative investigation of user perceptions of Groupon prices, as well as the drivers behind pricing trust erosion, to help outline direction and strategies for strengthening consumer confidence in Groupon prices.

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Cherry on top but not the main event.

Only 18% of consumers purchase deals with promo codes. Study participants see promotions as an extra incentive, not a purchase driver. Discounted price is the main price evaluation criterion and usually enticing enough to motivate purchases.

"I always compare final prices. It's not about the promo, it's about the math."

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Where is the promo?

Users don't know which deals have running promotions until they are on a deal page where they can apply the promo code. Even when a promo is applied, user won't know the exact amount of savings applied until they get to checkout, which often leads to high cart abandonment in pursuit of a better deal.

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What's the best bang for my buck?

Price alone is not indicative of value. Customers search for:
-quality of service, convenience, limitations, kid-friendliness, special needs accommodations, brand name and more.

"Price is probably seconds for me, the actual activity comes first for me. I don't usually go to Groupon with a deal in mind. Instead, I browse for activities and like to compare and contrast different options. Then I factor in customer reviews, going with multiple people, distance, etc. [I assess] deal value instead of a deal price"

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That's risky business.

While the red ILS sales are easier to understand and purchase, they are seen as inherently 'riskier by customers. The red color is eye-catching yet associated with a negative sentiment.

"The red price is something Groupon has seen as an inventory risk"

Brainstorm and Competitive Analysis

Armed with the knowledge from the research insights and an understanding of Groupon's current promo experience, the team an I dove into collaborative competitive analysis and solution brainstorming.
Using FigJam, the product manager, senior product designer and I gathered examples of user journeys how other competitors present promotions or sales to their customers. From there we analyzed the best solution from each competitor and grouped them based on common themes. From there we came up with user stories that would address Groupon customer's needs and brainstormed solutions that we rated based on feasibility.


After conducting a brain storming session and competitive analysis, the team focused on the scope phase where we worked on defining the main features and enhancements of promotions, such as displaying promotions on deal cards and new calculated price after applied promo. We organized the features in terms of size, importance, and timing to understand which features need to be prioritized and are most impactful. The scope was modified as some features were deprioritized for the first release due to timing and availability (shown in gray).

Image displays a matrix graph of features rated based on order of size, importance and timing


After organizing the workload from the Scope phase, the team focused on a portion of the user journey for the first release. Due to the scope of the project, the team and I focused more on enhancing current features for Q1 rather than adding any new features that would take more effort and time. Those features were identified as adding promotions to Deal Cards and auto applying promotions in Deal Page. I highlighted in the user flow where new enhancement features would appear.

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Final Concepts

I worked on putting together a mobile prototype that would be used for user testing to gain some insight if creating a promo identity and calculating the price for users for would improve their experience as we hypothesized.

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Just Promos

Our main focus of testing would be on deals with an active promo running.

Promo and ILS

This example is something we wanted to validate in testing as ILS and Promos are a rare occurrence but can run in parallel, so a user can both see the red ILS price and a purple promo.

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Updated Desktop Deal Pages

Desktop was also updated with the new promo identity along with quickly calculating the math for user.

UX Research Plan

Biggest part of the process was conducting an experiment testing the proposed design solutions to gain understanding of how our customers perceive the value of promotions when it's accounted for in the discounted price on the deals they see in the deal feed and how their purchase behavior is affected by the new discounted price.

Research Objectives

We outlined goals we set to validate the effectiveness of the proposed design solutions, the criteria would test:

Understand customers' ability to notice the deal price with promotions applied.
Learn if discounted purple pricing is understandable on deal cards, deal pages
Understand value customers attach to the deal with respect to the new
discounted pricing shown
Motivation and willingness to purchase deals with the new discounted pricing
Discover pain points and opportunities to improve the customer experience.
Understand if our proposed design for the purple click to apply button can
improve customer conversion

Who & What

Research Method

We used an unmoderated test with a series of tasks to understand how users would naturally behave with the app as they proceeded with their tasks. The aim was to get quick actionable feedback on whether the proposed CX enhancements would meet desired goals.

To test understanding, perception and confidence around purple pricing - we ran an unmoderated test with 10 users. Users were presented with a high fidelity prototype of the Groupon App and were given tasks to complete. Tasks provided focussed on user understanding of deal pricing and promotions given the new CX changes proposed by the feature.

To test whether Deal Page enhancements were meeting intended behavioral goals - we ran an additional unmoderated test with 20 users with the focus on the ‘click to apply’ button on the deal page. First half of the users were presented with our current, default deal page with the white CTA/coupon button. The other half of users were presented with the proposed design of a purple CTA/coupon button.

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Summary Insights & Recommendations

Biggest part of the process was analyze all the research data we gained from 30 user sessions to validate our hypothesis. We broke down the analysis into sections; awareness, understanding deal cards, understanding deal page and overall perceptions.

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All participants noticed the promotions on deal cards and on the deal page without being prompted

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Understanding: Deal Cards

1. Almost all of participants understood that the purple price was what they would pay because of a ‘special promotion’ or ‘discount code’ or ‘coupon’ or ‘flash sale’

a. 1 customer understood what the purple price stood for, but was unsure if they did indeed have the promotion code to get the quoted price
b. 1 customer did not understand what the purple pricing was and what it stood for

Although the majority of participants understood that the purple price on ILS deals was because of a promotion, seeing 4 prices on Deal Cards caused some participants to report initial confusion.

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Understanding: Deal Page

1. All participants noticed the CTA box and the promotional prices on the deal page

2. Majority of participants understood that the purple price was calculated based on the percentage discount offered by the promotion

3. The purple Click To Apply box drove a majority of users to take the action of clicking/apply the promo before proceeding to checkout

a. Most users in the test who were shown the purple CTA box ended up clicking to apply before proceeding to checkout
b. Most users in the test who were shown the white CTA box ended up proceeding to checkout and did not clicking to apply promo

4. While most participants clicked on the CTA box, there were some participants who did not click on the CTA box before proceeding to checkout.

5. Majority of participants used the final calculation on checkout to get confirmation on whether their promotion was applied

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Overall Perceptions

Most participants reported a high likelihood to buy the deal. However the promotion was not the main driver for the purchase as the participants reasoning was based on how good of a deal they perceived it to be (factors of type of restaurant, cost, reviews were all taken into consideration).

When asked, majority of the participants reported that they were more likely to come back to Groupon to check for the deals with promotions.

Majority of participants positively perceived the additional promotions as Groupon getting the customer a great price beyond normal discounts. Some participants called out that the purple pricing made it easier for them to see the final price on deal cards.

Recommendations for Improvement

Verdict: This feature shows potential to have impact on the desired objectives

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Limit the number of prices shown

Although small, there is a potential of confusion when four prices are displayed (in the case where there is a promotion and an ILS sale active). Our recommendation is to try to limit to just three prices on the deal card when ILS is active.

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‘Click to Apply’ CX Improvement

The current proposed visual treatment resulted in a majority of participants clicking on the CTA box, however there is room to improve as some users did not click on it and had to backtrack from the checkout page. Enhancements can be made to ensure that applying for a promotion is seen as one of the ‘next best actions’ to take.

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CX Improvement in Checkout

In our test a majority of the users used checkout as confirmation that the promotion was applied. For users at checkout who did not apply a promo code, there is potential to reduce friction to purchase by showing users what promotions are eligible to apply.

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Promo Visibility

Elevate the visibility and understanding of ‘owning’ promotion codes on the homepage. We received signals from the majority of users on the homepage that wanted quick access to more information about the ongoing promotions they were eligible for before going onto the deal page to investigate further.

Support for Feature Release and Performance

After conducting the user testing sessions and analyzing the insight summary, we felt confident enough to proceed with the update promotion design direction. I assisted my product manager in writing user stories defining each new element and created detailed design specifications for developers to reference. Furthermore, I conducted thorough UI reviews throughout the process to ensure the designs are developed exactly as the approved designs were outlined.

The experiment was recently launched, and performing really well so far!


As much as I wanted every phase of my design work to be structured and consistent, some of the work was done at conflicting times. If I could re-do the process on this work, I would have conducted live moderated interview sessions with users to further gain insights into their behavior and actions when interacting with the prototypes.